Closing Thought–26Mar19

This post illustrates just how accurate the saying is…”You Can’t Fix Stupid!”

I read a great story about how some guy milked $122 million out of Google and Facebook….that is $122 million!

Last week, Evaldas Rimasauskas of Lithuania plead guilty to US wire fraud, aggravated identity theft, and money laundering charges, admitting that he had stolen $99m from Facebook and $23m from Google between 2013 and 2015.

Rimasauskas’s grift was pretty bold. He merely sent Google and Facebook invoices for items they hadn’t purchased and that he hadn’t provided, which the companies paid anyway. The invoices were accompanied by “forged invoices, contracts, and letters that falsely appeared to have been executed and signed by executives and agents of the Victim Companies, and which bore false corporate stamps embossed with the Victim Companies’ names, to be submitted to banks in support of the large volume of funds that were fraudulently transmitted via wire transfer.” He also spoofed emails that appeared to come from corporate execs.

Apparently, no one checked first to see if these corresponded to invoices/POs that had been issued within the companies.

Rimasauskas was pretending to be the giant Taiwanese hardware manufacturer Quanta Computer Inc, and had registered a company in Latvia with the same name.

He’s agreed to forfeit about $50m. It’s not clear what’s happened to the other $73m, but Rimasauskas was a prolific and baroque money-launderer who squirreled cash away in Cyprus, Lithuania, Hungary, Slovakia, and Latvia. Google has said that “We detected this fraud and promptly alerted the authorities. We recouped the funds and we’re pleased this matter is resolved.”

Rimasauskas will be sentenced on July 29. He faces up to 30 years.

Say if Google and Facebook did not vet the bills they received then I say let the guy keep his ill-gotten gains…

But they is just me.

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That “Marshall Plan”

As usual the old professor is about to drop some history on you….was that an eye roll?

Whenever some economic plan comes about it is compared to the Marshall Plan of the 1940s….but since the nation is so damn young now how many actually knows what the Plan was about?

Well I can help with that lack of knowledge……

The Marshall Plan, also known as the European Recovery Program, was a U.S. program providing aid to Western Europe following the devastation of World War II. It was enacted in 1948 and provided more than $15 billion to help finance rebuilding efforts on the continent. The brainchild of U.S. Secretary of State George C. Marshall, for whom it was named, it was crafted as a four-year plan to reconstruct cities, industries and infrastructure heavily damaged during the war and to remove trade barriers between European neighbors – as well as foster commerce between those countries and the United States.

In addition to economic redevelopment, one of the stated goals of the Marshall Plan was to halt the spread communism on the European continent.

Implementation of the Marshall Plan has been cited as the beginning of the Cold War between the United States and its European allies and the Soviet Union, which had effectively taken control of much of central and eastern Europe and established its satellite republics as communist nations.

The Marshall Plan is also considered a key catalyst for the formation of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), a military alliance between North American and European countries established in 1949.

https://www.history.com/topics/world-war-ii/marshall-plan-1

But with this gesture of goodwill was not without a bunch of myths…..was not all rainbows and unicorns……

Perhaps the most persistent and enduring myth in modern British history is that the country did badly, in comparison with its European neighbours, out of the Marshall Plan, the scheme of American largesse that funded the reconstruction of war-ravaged western Europe. But it is simply not true.

West Germany received $1.7 billion of postwar aid from the United States, which it invested primarily in capital and infrastructure, paving the way for the Wirtschaftswunder, the postwar economic miracle that turned the country into a manufacturing powerhouse, which, even after the considerable cost of reunification in 1990, it remains.

Britain, as victor, had an understandable sense of entitlement – and let us not forget the nature of the regime that it and its Empire had helped defeat – but, as an indication of the sacrifice it had made, it ended the conflict with an economy more like that of a defeated or occupied nation.

https://www.historytoday.com/archive/editor/marshall-myths

You now know more than you did before reading…..

Learn Stuff!

Class Dismissed!

Sanctions! Hit ‘Em Where It Hurts!

Every president that I recall during my many years of age have used the tried and true penalty of sanctions against nations that has pissed the US off.

Sanctions?

Let’s look at just what this entails……https://lobotero.com/2019/03/04/those-inevitable-sanctions/

The reason I touching on this is that our president has decided to hit Iran with more sanctions as a punishment….these are directed at the so-called nuke program that Iran is supposedly developing…..

The U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), together with the U.S. Department of State, designated 14 individuals and 17 entities today in connection with Iran’s Organization of Defensive Innovation and Research (SPND), which has provided support to designated Iranian defense entities and whose key personnel played a central role in the Iranian regime’s past nuclear weapons effort.  This action targets current SPND subordinate groups, supporters, front companies, and associated officials.

“The U.S. government is taking decisive action against actors at all levels in connection with Iran’s Organization of Defensive Innovation and Research (SPND) who have supported the Iranian regime’s defense sector,” said Treasury Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin.  “The United States will continue applying maximum pressure to the Iranian regime, using all economic tools to prevent Iran from developing weapons of mass destruction. Anyone considering dealing with the Iranian defense industry in general, and SPND in particular, risks professional, personal, and financial isolation.”

https://home.treasury.gov/news/press-releases/sm634

And then there are the sanctions against North Korea (a country that has a nuke capability)……

President is reversing his administration’s decision to slap new sanctions on North Korea and ordering them withdrawn. White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders says Trump “likes Chairman Kim and he doesn’t think these sanctions will be necessary,” per the AP. Trump himself addressed the move on Twitter: “It was announced today by the U.S. Treasury that additional large scale Sanctions would be added to those already existing Sanctions on North Korea,” he wrote. “I have today ordered the withdrawal of those additional Sanctions!”

The White House did not immediately respond to questions about which sanctions Trump was referring to. However, his administration on Thursday sanctioned two Chinese shipping companies suspected of helping North Korea evade sanctions—the first targeted actions taken against Pyongyang since Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un met in Hanoi last month. The Hill sees it as “remarkable” that Trump would publicly rebuke his own Treasury Department, especially after national security adviser John Bolton praised the sanctions announced on Thursday. The Washington Post describes the move as an “apparent effort to salvage nuclear negotiations.”

This illustrates just how moronic Trump’s foreign policy truly is…..he emboldens the nation that has a capability and punishes a nation that does not…..

His Neocon cronies….Pompeo and Bolton…..are leading Trump down the primrose path and his lack of comprehension is hurting the US at every turn…..and he, Trump, is too ignorant to see it.